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Joplin tornado death toll at least 232; 10 still unaccounted for

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Joplin tornado death toll at least 232; 10 still unaccounted for

2011-06-01 08:38:00 GMT+7 (ICT)

JOPLIN, MISSOURI (BNO NEWS) -- The number of people who are still unaccounted for after a violent tornado ripped through the Missouri city of Joplin has dropped to 10, state officials said on Tuesday, adding that more than 120 people have been confirmed deceased.

The powerful EF-5 tornado touched down on May 22 and tore through the city for several miles (kilometers), leaving a path of destruction about three quarters of a mile (1.2 kilometer) wide. Up to 30 percent of the city was estimated to have been destroyed.

As of Tuesday evening, the Missouri Department of Public Safety reported that the number of persons unaccounted for as a result of the tornado now stands at 10, which is down from 29 on Tuesday. Some of the 10 missing may be among the remains which have been found but not yet identified.

So far, state officials said a total of 123 individuals have been confirmed as deceased and their next-of-kin have been notified. The youngest victim has been identified as 1-year-old Hayze Howard of Webb City, while the eldest victim has been identified as 94-year-old Nancy E. Douthitt of Joplin.

"As of today, the number of unaccounted for individuals has been reduced to 10, from 232 on May 26, and our 24-hour a day effort continues," said Department of Public Safety Deputy Director Andrea Spillars, adding that the state is also monitoring postings on Facebook and other social media websites for information about those unaccounted for.

The names of unaccounted for individuals are also being cross-referenced with all hospitals that admitted or treated patients injured during the tornado, shelters housing tornado survivors, applicants for disaster assistance and the Red Cross Safe and Well program. Additionally, the Department of Public Safety is working with cell phone service providers to check whether cell phones have been used by individuals who have been unaccounted for since their names were added to the list.

The tornado disaster in Joplin, which President Barack Obama on Sunday described as a national tragedy, is the deadliest single tornado in the United States since modern record-keeping began in 1950.

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-- © BNO News All rights reserved 2011-06-01

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Please fix the headline. The article clearly states that the number of unaccounted people has fallen from 232 to 10. 232 people have not died.

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